With Aalto 1.7, aftertouch is implemented in an MPE-compatible way—all of the factory Aalto patches will play expressively with Soundplane, LinnStrument, and other MPE-aware controllers over MIDI. And adding pressure, x or y control to any of your existing Aalto patches is just a virtual patch cable away. I’m excited to see more of the fruits of this cooperation.
MPE stands for Multidimensional Polyphonic Expression. It's a way of using MIDI to transmit the rich, per-note expressive performances that instruments like the Haken Continuum, Seaboard, Linnstrument and of course our own Soundplane are capable of. Geert Bevin, longtime Eigenharp player and currently a software developer at Moog Music, lead the charge on this effort, and I thank him for moving things forward. You can find Geert's post with the MPE specifications here: [expressiveness.org]
Many smart and experienced people, including all us makers of new and ambitious controllers, looked over a draft of this spec and contributed changes. MPE makes sense, is easy to implement, and should be very useful. With its addition Aalto becomes one of a just a few great sound makers out there for per-note expression. I am hotly anticipating more Linnstrument+Aalto, Seaboard+Aalto sounds.
Soundplane owners have always had a great connection to Aalto over OSC. But the big deal for the Soundplane is that now, while we are still waiting for the OSC-based composition environment of our dreams, we can use ordinary DAWs to record and edit an entire Soundplane performance.
Aalto version 1.7 also brings improved Soundplane compatibility with MIDI patches, optimized animation drawing, and bug fixes. MPE support in Kaivo synthesizer will follow next month with other changes.
1.7 is of course a free update again. The demo is at the usual place, and license holders as usual can click "My downloads" up on the right there to get your update.
Macintosh users, please note:
Aalto 1.7 requires Mac OS X 10.7 or higher.
Version 1.6 of Aalto is now available for Mac and Windows. This version contains many improvements for efficiency and host compatibility.
New in Aalto version 1.6:
First, here are a couple of videos from António Machado, showing his work with a Haken Continuum, Kaivo, and Aalto. He uses the EigenD environment and an “agent” (EigenD object) written by Mark Harris to give high-res, note-per-touch data to Aalto and Kaivo. It’s rare to see a techy video that is this enjoyable to listen to in its own right, so a big thanks to António and Mark, and please enjoy...
Greetings! I'm writing to announce the Madrona Labs five-day winter sale, starting now. From now until December 10, all of our software is 50% off. Now is a great time to get everyone’s favorite patchable software synths for yourself or a friend. To get the discount, use the coupon code ‘dougfir‘ on any product page, just above the ‘Buy Now’ button.
If you would like to give someone an Aalto or Kaivo license as a gift, it’s easy. Just buy the software in the usual way, but enter your friend's first and last name instead of yours when you make the Madrona Labs account. Then you can gift your friend the account name and password. Your friend can log in, download the software and change the account email to his or her very own.